The clock ticks by . If she does not hurry up she will be late . Again!…and she cannot afford to be late. She has already learned her lesson , not the easy way so to say.
Five minutes later she is in a cab riding to the airport. This driver is the bomb! The way he swerves and overtakes the other cars on the road makes her feel like she is in the cast for fast and furious, from what she hears it is the next big thing since smart phones discovery after they overtook sliced bread. She is yet to find that out though…But maybe that is not for her generation. The kids always talk about it… She is 42 and it is her first time to board a plane so she is excited. Very few of her generation in Africa have had the privilege.
Soon they arrive at the airport and after the usual check in routine she boards the plane and in no time they are up in the sky…to the dream destination of every one… It is a comfortable ride. If she were a sleeper she would have taken a nap but she does not sleep on transit…it is just one of those things…
Her mind drifts to when she was twelve, Life was tough back then, her country was still young after gaining independence.
All she and her siblings did back then was work hard, face the sky and pray for a bright future, which seemed far away and way out of reach. Her father had been present yet absent. Again, one of those things…their mother had taken up the role of the provider. She worked really hard, took odd jobs here and there mostly out in the field, so as to put something on the table for her children. The narrative was not unique to them, most of their neighbors roared in a similar boat.
She and her siblings usually woke up at five A.M and prepared for school. Many a times they missed breakfast and other times lunch, supper was just there if not so so…just to get by. Bread and butter were aliens. Shoes old and worn out or none at all. Hair shaved in a design that resembled a zebra crossing from the scissors effect. The irony was that they only knew about zebra crossing from what they learned in school not knowing they had one on their heads! A lot has changed since then.
Back then there were no bentens or nickelodeon, all there was clay-nten and clay clay clay. In short the closest they came to cartoons and toys was by molding clay and making them for themselves. That was awesome in a way. Some made very good clay toys that if their parents knew anything about nurturing their children’s talents, some very good artists and inventors would have emerged from there. Too bad they were still in the homo erectus or so stage of evolution, who knows some of them would have beaten the Wright brothers if not giving them competition.
But the narrative had already been written, They were African, from the dark continent. The continent from which perhaps Hams generation had been shoved to…The continent in which there are thorny bushes and the only animals there are monkeys and others.
The continent in which people live in mud grass thatched huts and thorny bushes surrounding the compounds from which you can spot semi-naked children running around.- well ,isn’t that a heritage to be proud of?
The continent which had suffered so much under colonialism and after that has had to swim through neo colonialism.
The continent which still crawls while others seem to have already learned to walk and catching up might take forever or a miracle.
The continent which is made to keep up because there is always a big brother somewhere watching and setting pace.
The continent from which if one traveled overseas is seen as to have gone to heaven!!! Hence expected to bring heaven back with them upon their return.
The continent in which tribal wars and chaos is considered the order of the day.
The continent in which if you accept election results cordially you almost become a candidate for the Nobel peace prize because it is expected otherwise!
The continent whose child , THE AFRICAN CHILD of today ,must write a different narrative.
The narrative of the Africa child whose potential is enormous.
The narrative of the beautiful African coastal beaches, the diverse and rich cultures, the better tasting coffee if not the best…
The beautiful country sides and the tantalizing tasty African delicacies.
The continent whose potential is enormous with all sorts of wildlife ,beautiful landscape comprising of magnificent mountains, valleys, hills ,plateaus and diverse plant and wildlife species.
The continent with plenty of minerals of different kinds and forms. Not to mention the perfect temperatures and some of the spectacular wonders of the world.
The cradle of mankind-as per the scientists.
The continent with the beautiful well rounded African woman and the all sought after African man.
The continent on the rise with beautiful climate, beautiful cities and beautiful people whose majority skin colour is dark ,though the skin tone range is wide, ranging from beautiful blue black to dark, to chocolate to brown to white- A beautiful rainbow continent with a beautiful African child.
A child who must learn to own her African authenticity, be comfortable in her own skin and embrace all that the beautiful African continent has to offer , aspire to coexist peacefully with one another despite of their religious beliefs, skin colour, culture, tribe or the language they speak and create the ultimate AFRICAN DREAM for the ultimate AFRICAN CHILD.
“Cringe” was that the plane changing gears or it’s the friction of the clouds in the beautiful African sky? Do planes operate on gears?